By Danjuma Aliyu and Adenike Lucas
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo believes President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to perform, and needs to take a “deserved rest” from politics.
In a special press statement titled: “The Way Out: A Clarion Call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement, ” the former President, said he was disappointed by Nigeria’s President, but he stood by his decision to campaign against the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the 2015 election.
The result of the election, which saw the removal of an incumbent President – a first time achievement in the West African country, took a positive turn for the All Progressives Congress, APC when the elder state man decided to tear his membership card.
“Four years ago when my PDP card was torn, I made it abundantly clear that I quit partisan politics for aye but my concern and interest in Nigeria, Africa and indeed in humanity would not wane, Chief Obasanjo,” who just bagged a PhD writes in the special statement released today.
Nigeria Not Progressing With PMB
Today, despite supporting and voting President Buhari in that election, Baba Iyabo as he is fondly known said he did so as “a matter of any option but Jonathan.”
He noted that: “The situation that made Nigerians to vote massively to get my brother Jonathan off the horse is playing itself out again.
“…Poor performance in government – poverty, insecurity, poor economic management, nepotism, gross dereliction of duty, condonation of misdeed- if not outright encouragement of it, lack of progress and hope for the future, lack of national cohesion and poor management of internal political dynamics and widening inequality – are very much with us today.”
The President, who enjoyed a large amount of good will among the people during the 2015 campaign, has lost support from core-supporter for his refusal to remove “corrupt” Ibrahim Mustafa Magu.
Despite repeated calls of victimisation from operatives, a rejection from the Senate and an indicting intelligence report from the State Security Service, which described the Acting chairman as a liability to the fight against corruption, President Buhari has left Mr Magu in office. As a results, the anti-corruption fight, which the APC administration hinged much hope has fallen flat, with it being unable to successfully convict any Politically Exposed Person, PEP.
Having failed to perform as expected, Chief Obasanjo, a UN envoy to Liberia, made a direct “appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age.
“I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service,” however, he said: “President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice.”
While Nigeria’s Commander-in-Chief from 1999- 2007, does not want President Buhari to re-contest, a few members of his cabinet are begging him to continue.
A few weeks ago, seven Governors threw in their support for President Buhari’s 2019 election campaign.
Chief Obasanjo, 80, states his displeasure in their endorsement, saying: “The herdsmen/crop farmers issue is being wittingly or unwittingly allowed to turn sour and messy.
“It is no credit to the Federal Government that herdsmen rampage continues with careless abandon and without finding an effective solution to it.
“And it is a sad symptom of insensitivity and callousness that some Governors, a day after 73 victims were being buried in a mass grave in Benue State without condolence, were jubilantly endorsing President Buhari for a second term!”
Last week, the President of the Senate Bukola Saraki chided members of the Executive for campaigning before time.
He said all politicians should stop canvassing for support towards 2019 and focus on now.
Movement For The People
Though he ruled President Buhari out in the February 2019, Chief Obasanjo did not endorse any other candidate; instead he has called for a movement “which all well-meaning Nigerians can belong.”
In his statement, he wrote: “Wherever I go, I hear Nigerians complaining, murmuring in anguish and anger, but our anger should not be like the anger of the cripple.
“Let nobody deceive us, economy feeds on politics and because our politics is depressing, our economy is even more depressing today. If things were good, President Buhari would not need to come in. He was voted to fix things that were bad and not engage in the blame game.”
“We can collectively save ourselves from the position we find ourselves. It will not come through self-pity, fruitless complaint or protest but though constructive and positive engagement and collective action for the good of our nation and ourselves and our children and their children.”
Perhaps, aware of Baba Iyabo’s letter, co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign began a red card movement last month.
Oby Ezekwesili, a former World Bank VP and Minister of Education, who has challenged Nigerians not to vote for the ruling APC or opposition PDP, was detained by FCT police officers hours before President Obasanjo’s letter began to circulate online.